Defining Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of sexual discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and yes, sex. This rule applies to any workplace with more than 15 employees, as well as federal, state and local governments. Even with these protections in place, men and women face sexual harassment in the workplace.
Generally, sexual harassment in the workplace occurs in two ways:
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer makes decisions based upon the worker’s submission to sexual harassment.
- Hostile work environments in which unwelcome sexual advances and verbal or physical sexual contact constitutes the other main form of sexual harassment.
Forms of Sexual Harassment
While the aforementioned forms of sexual harassment are indeed the two main behaviors that result in lawsuits, other forms can include:
- Sharing of sexually suggestive material with colleagues
- Sending sexually inappropriate emails or notes to co-workers
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures or physical contact in the workplace
- Telling dirty jokes or stories that are sexual in nature
- Making sexual comments about an employee’s body, clothing or appearance
- Asking sexual questions about an employee’s orientation or their gender identity
- Terminated or denied promotions for refusal to comply with sexual requests
These are just a few of the most common kinds of sexual harassment in the workplace. The reality is that if a colleague or manager in your office is making you feel uncomfortable by bringing up sexual topics, they may indeed be sexually harassing you. A Virginia sexual harassment lawyer can help you determine if you have a viable case.
Justice for Victims of Sexual Harassment
Virginia sexual harassment lawyer Cindra Dowd can help victims seek the justice they deserve. Call today to set up a confidential consultation with an attorney and begin exploring your options. These consultations are free and no-risk, giving victims the power to pursue justice if they desire.
Victims do not simply have to settle with the way they are treated in the workplace. Gritting your teeth and hoping the behaviors stop rarely achieves results. Instead, victims should contact a Virginia sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. Because sexual harassment is a violation of both state and federal law, a lawyer can help victims pursue justice.
In many cases, a court can help make things right for victims. Some receive compensation to make up for the economic losses associated with sexual harassment, like lost raises. Compensation may also be available for the pain and suffering endured by the victim. If the victim’s job was lost because of their refusal to comply with sexual requests, their position may be reinstated.